It has been almost a year since my last post here. I stumbled upon this blog today and fell into nostalgia. There are some good words here and even better memories. So I have decided with Mr. A’s enthusiastic support to restart this little page. I have re-vamped it to focus solely on our true love – cinema. So here we are almost a year later but hardly a year wiser beginning again.
Mr. A’s choice after some deliberation and a great deal of scrolling through the possible candidates was the Demolition Man. He describes it as “Sylvester Stallone going into the future to wreak havoc and kick some ass.” That sounds quite all right with me!
The movie begins with typical Stallone bad-assery (I am aware that is not a word but somehow it seems to describe him perfectly). Our hero catapults into the scene from a helicopter, ready to face down his villain.
The villain named Phoenix is wearing black and white striped pants seemingly indicative of the prison time he is soon to be facing. Stallone complies, facing fire and death but ultimately seeing his man dragged away.
But the victory comes with a price. Stallone’s headstrong rush into the fray cost 20 people their lives. Thus he too is dragged away. The two men are similarly encased in an icy cryo-chamber that sometime in the near future we decided was a good alternative to a cement and steel prison.
The opening credits begin to roll set beneath a series of close shots of Stallone crouched and frozen in his cell. The tone is almost awestruck and we glimpse again and again his muscular frame. It is Michelango-esque and goes on much longer than necessary. But who can really blame them? Those are some very impressive muscles.
As Stallone’s naked frame fades away, we met Lenina. She is the spark of youth and joy in this violent film. She is an unabashed geek meets history buff. She has spent a great deal of research and time into studying “the old days.” Her home and office are full of what we consider normal items that this unusual future has turned into contraband.
Lenina is my favorite part of the film. She is un-afraid to wholeheartedly love what she loves. She goes along with the new society to secure her a successful career but still clings to her movie posters and jukeboxes and cuss words. She sneaks in references to her fandom whenever she can and if she doesn’t get them quite right, who can really blame her?
The basic plot of them film is this: Phoenix comes up for his parole hearing and though I don’t know how being frozen in a chamber counts toward good behavior, he doesn’t stick around to find out. He escapes and goes on a rampage that shocks the extremely civilized world. They turn to their only hope: Stallone.
He is also reawakened on a temporary parole and his quite surprised to see what his world has become – a world bullied into civility and obedience where even cuss words are heavily taxed and graffiti instantaneously erased. The police are virtually hall monitors slapping petty criminals on the wrist and everyone else dresses in Catholic priest-style robes and dine on Taco Bell, shocked and afraid of any disruption to their simple lives.
What follows is what is to be expected from Stallone. Chaos and the triumph of victory over evil. What began with fire concludes in ice.
Although this film is not a thinking man’s movie, it is a good one. It leaves several questions unanswered. Who is Stallone’s daughter? (it was original intended for Lenina to be his daughter but they turned her into his love interest without deleting the scenes hinting to her existence. I wish they had left it the way they intended). How bad was this earthquake that it resulted in such a societal shift? Was it’s effect spread to other cities and if so, how did they cope with it? Were their more Cocteau-type leaders spreading their influence? Or was the rest of the world seemingly normal with only San Angeles becoming a cult-like “utopia?” I guess we will have to wait till 2045 to find out.
But if you look over these small plot rifts, it is a good film. Stallone is a quiet, serious badass that is still relate-able as he is facing the annihilation of everything he knew. There are a lot of movie references (including one for Rambo) and clever jokes that elevate this move and make even Mr. A laugh.
There we have it: the review you’ve waited almost a year for. Hopefully my next post will come more promptly until then Be Well!